Four Folk Songs for violin, cello and piano, loosely draws inspiration from the melodic motifs and rhythms of my mother's homeland, Perú. As an American-born Latina, so much of my understanding of this small yet culturally rich Andean nation has been necessarily fashioned from within my private imagination from the time I was a young child. Frequent trips to Perú in my adulthood, always done with my mother, leave me with a sense of belonging to something larger than myself as I connect private musings with the actual existing reality.
Seeing the María Angola church in its highland setting after reading myths about it, for instance, makes Perú's connection to colonial Spain that much more real; and this provide the inspiration for the first movement of Four Folk Songs: Canto para La María Angola (Song for the María Angola). The universality of children playing in the streets, albeit with Peruvian toys such as wooden llamas and shakers, is portrayed in the second movement, Children's Dance. The third movement, Serenata, is inspired by the ubiquitous guitar/charango-vocalist duo one sees in most pubs and eating houses; and the last movement harkens to Perú's pre-Inca past in imagining the sounds of an isolated, warlike yet artistically creative culture, Chavín de Huantar.
— Gabriela Lena Frank